Monday, 24 September 2007
Less news but more Ads for ITV ?
Interesting news in Saturday's Times (Sept 22) which says Ofcom is set to fall in line with the rest of the EU and allow ITV to broadcast 9 minutes of ads per hour compared to the current 7 - that's a 28.5% increase (their maths not mine). Now wasn't the argument being made by some senior ITV figures only recently that if there was more advertising then they would use some of it to pay for the regional news service? That's the very same regional news service which, we were told, made us distinctive from the other 300 odd channels. Here in the sunny South East we've been heartened by support from MPs of all parties, one of whom is putting down an EDM when parliament goes back. We've also done the rounds of local papers making our case and were encouraged to get this from one of our viewers:- "I had no idea until I saw your letter that plans were proposed to change the Meridian Tonight programmes - there must be someone in ITV who sits and plans out who they can upset next! I am enclosing copies of my email to PSBReview and to our local MP, David Lepper. Thank you for bringing this stupid idea to my attention - I hope we win". In addition we've enlisted the help of a friendly PR agency who are contacting all local business leaders, and we're making sure all reporters canvass MPs whenever they come across them in the day job. If there is a General Election soon it may be worth getting all regional journalists in ITV to point out this will be the last time they get such extensive coverage. 'We're not going without a fight'